There’s actually a lot more to hosting a dinner party than you first think. From the dress code and guest-list, to the menu and entertainment, there are a lot of things that need careful consideration.
When done right, dinner parties are a great opportunity to hang out with friends or network with new connections. Your role as host will mean you’re responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly, and to help, we’re sharing a few tips.
Organizing the guest-list
Who do you want to be there? While you might have a huge friendship group, a dinner party calls for a smaller, more intimate group for a more formal evening. Plus, streamlining the guest-list will help with catering, as there will be a much less complicated table plan and menu.
We recommend sticking to a maximum of seven guests. Then, plan the seating arrangements according to who might get along best. You don’t want your evening ruined by clashing personalities…
Planning your menu
You can’t have a dinner party without food, and this is one part of the night that needs the most planning. Three courses are plenty – for you, your guests, and whoever is cooking!
Make sure to try your planned meals prior to the day, so you know that the flavors all combine together perfectly. It’s not recommended that you use a dinner party to try an entirely new recipe.
Don’t forget to find out any dietary requirements or allergies before planning the courses, too.
As for the drinks, it’s always nice to offer a variety. Wine is the most common go-to, so find a few bottles that pair nicely with your planned food. Pairings are always good to recommend, but guests should be able to choose whichever drink they’d prefer.
If some guests don’t drink, make sure to have something equally delicious for them so they don’t feel like they’re missing out.
When guests arrive, welcome them with a glass of fizz or a cocktail.
After the meal, it’s common to offer whiskey or coffee. You could even go one step further and offer guests a smoke from the Online Cigar Store to finish the evening.
Create a playlist prior to your event to keep things running smoothly. If you’re not sure your music tastes are for everyone, there are plenty of dinner party playlists online or on Spotify to get you started. Whatever you decide, make sure the volume is kept to a background level, so that everyone can enjoy the conversation.
Creating an ambience
Dimmed lighting, candles and warming scents create the perfect ambience for a dinner party. You could also add a little décor or table center pieces in line with the theme of the night to tie everything together.
If you’re dining outside, make sure to have plenty of ambient lighting available for when the sun goes down, and mosquito-repellent candles to prevent bites! Finally, remember to have fun. While these are our top tips, you don’t want to overcomplicate things and find yourself only hosting, rather than getting involved.
Set the tone
It is your job as host to set the tone for the evening. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t be a stick in the mud, fussing over the little things and ignoring the guests and fun around you. Have fun yourself and the others will surely follow. If something small does go wrong, no one will notice or care. They’ll just remember your great hosting through the evening.